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I have an Alienware M15x, 940MX processor, 16 GB RAM, 512GB M4 SSD, and I was running Win7 64bit. I backed up the disk and ran Win 8 setup. Setup appeared to go well through multiple reboots.

After the last reboot, it simply stopped after POST at "Press F2 for bios setup". I have tried powering off, reducing RAM to one stick, removing MOS battery. Now, it gets to the screen with "Press F2 for setup" and "Press F12 for boot options". If I press F2, I get a single beep only. If I press F12, nothing. I cannot get into the BIOS to change boot options to boot from another disk and restore.

I do have the latest BIOS. I am going to try replacing the CMOS battery, but I don't think that is likely to help. The computer has been fast and very reliable until now.

I checked CMOS battery - normal. I pulled hard disk, and can get into bios. Hard disk was set to AHCI. I changed it to ATA - still hangs. I was able to change boot order, but I don't have a clear way to creates a Win 8 boot disk or USB. I can pull the hard disk and put it on another machine and retrieve the downloaded Win 8 files, but how can I then create a Win 8 boot disk. It appears that Win 8 has done something evil to my expensive SSD.

Any suggestions?

Joe Addendum - connected drive to another computer via USBn - not recognized. I connected it via eSATA, and it blocked the other machine from booting. Seems like Win 8'has bricked my expensive SSD. Thanks, Microsoft!

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I checked Crucial site - m4 firmware update has been known to make drives disappear on occasion. They suggested possible ways to get the drive to respond. It seemed to work. Drive is back at leat for now. Win 8 finished installing, and seems ok after I removed antivirus program. So far, so good. Occurence during Win 8 install is suspicious - but Win 8 may not have been the culprit. –  Joe Purvis Nov 21 '12 at 14:11
    
superuser.com/q/497284/1503 –  SLaks Nov 27 '12 at 17:09
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